This is topic Hunter Education Bogus? in forum Hunting Legislation & Policies at Trad Gang.com.


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Posted by Archer Dave (Member # 42877) on :
 
I am working on an 8 hour online hunter education program and pay $25 for the privilege. I have been hunting my whole life, and served in the US Army in a combat MOS, yet I have to take the hunter ed.

The rub is that I missed the date by 6 months not to need hunters education, while my wife is just before the date and does not need to take it. She however has never hunted and has limited experience with firearms.

I don't doubt that it is beneficial that new hunters take hunters ed, but if you have held a hunting license in multiple states and hunted for several decades, not to mention being entrusted with fully automatic weapons, grenades, explosives, etc, then it would seem like you should be able to opt out of hunters ed.

All the while if you are a year older then me and have never even touched a gun, you get to buy a license without hunter ed. How does that make sense.

Ok, rant over. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by fnshtr (Member # 18653) on :
 
Good point.

The only explanation you are likely to get is that there is a need for a "system" in order to deal with the number of people that want to hunt... and with any system there will be exceptions, such as yourself.

A system that identifies exceptions would be difficult to track and enforce.

Hope you feel better getting that off your chest.

ENJOY your well earned privilege to hunt!!!
 
Posted by Bladepeek (Member # 24206) on :
 
I don't know how it works in MN, but our conservation club here in MI offers 3 classes each year. They are completely free of charge and we've been giving free club memberships to those who pass with 100%.
 
Posted by Bisch (Member # 17432) on :
 
Well, they had to make a rule, and you just happened to be caught up in it. I know several folks who have passed the class that I would not spend 10 minutes in the woods around.

It's a part of the political game.

Bisch
 
Posted by dirtguy (Member # 17624) on :
 
That is too bad. In my state your military status would allow you to just buy a license.
 
Posted by bamboo (Member # 2856) on :
 
they have to draw the line somewhere--who knows you might learn something-its not combat--thanks for serving!
 
Posted by joe skipp (Member # 1095) on :
 
No charge here in NY for our Bowhunter Ed classes or Rifle classes. I think all vets should be free of taking the classes and just issued their licenses.
 
Posted by elk nailer (Member # 1373) on :
 
we had a guy that was a marine who's son was in our class. He said that he didn't known what we could teach him that he already had. Well, at the end of the class he came up to us instructors and said that he learned things, and he was glad that his son took the class. Its not only about shooting but ethics, safety, and being responsible.
 
Posted by ChuckC (Member # 1813) on :
 
There is a line, a rule. They picked a date and I don't know how or why, but that date it is.

The fact that hunter education is likely (very likely) to be the main reason that Wisconsin has had several of the safest seasons EVER recently including at least one with no accidental shootings is amazing.

Many of those taking the course have had prior or current military or police activity. Prior to training, many folks that had accidents were smart folks, including ex military folks, who never had their eyes opened up regarding what could go wrong and some very simple ways to keep it from happening.

Take it, learn what you can, and let the others learn. Its part of the privilege of hunting in the modern age. I for one don't think anybody should be exempt from the rule. Do they teach tree stand safety in the military ?
ChuckC
 
Posted by elk nailer (Member # 1373) on :
 
well said Chuck!
 
Posted by KodaChuck (Member # 43142) on :
 
I felt the same way....but as each of my three sons came of age, I joined them for the weekend class. So I ended going three times with my boys just to be there. I thought I knew it all but will say that I learned something I didn't know at each event. It was so positive, we later attended a 1 day bowhunting only optional hunter Ed class that was offered in PA.
 
Posted by Al Dente (Member # 1051) on :
 
I am a bit confused by your post Dave. If you have held a hunting license in another State, most offer reciprocity on obtaining a license in another State. If you did not, then you must take the class.

I do believe that EVERYONE will walk away with something from the class. Classroom courses are much better than online. Every instructor brings something else to the table, and there is fantastic interaction between both instructors and students.

Since its' inception and being mandatory in NYS, we have had a remarkable safety record considering the number of hunters afield every year.

Good luck on your course, and thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country.
 
Posted by Bowguy67 (Member # 45078) on :
 
Most states if not all use Pittman Robertson funds for the classes so they should be free. If you're using hunter.com there is a $25 fee. You say you hunted multiple states? You must have had a license or taken hunter ed somewhere? The classes I believe almost everywhere are international courses that must be honored everywhere
 
Posted by Bowguy67 (Member # 45078) on :
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by joe skipp:
No charge here in NY for our Bowhunter Ed classes or Rifle classes. I think all vets should be free of taking the classes and just issued their licenses. [/QUOTE
Very nice sentimate but as an instructor I've seen all types. Rules, ethics, the way the public sees us can't be just given to someone. Shot angles vary animal's vitals lie differently, they need to know. It's important they do the class, certainly commendable having served our country n he should be rewarded for that. I can see no prob giving the class free. Now devil's advocate.
What about cops? They're serving communities, some in bad areas, with all the crazy stuff going on it could find them someday in a war zone of sorts. What about Drs? They save lives, how bout folks can't afford it? It can go on but you get my drift. No means belittling or disrespecting the man's accomplishments. God bless em
 
Posted by Bowwild (Member # 2347) on :
 
I understand the inconvenience of having to take some time and in rare cases, spend a bit of money to satisfy hunter qualifications. Many good points above. Certainly the cut-off date is arbitrary but had to be chosen year's ago to get HE requirements passed by FW Commissions.

One of the benefits of HE is the comfort it provides the non-hunting public (not antis, you can't appease them) that hunters and hunting is safe.

I've taught and taken HE classes with my son, daughter, and others. I've never been involved in a charge. The on-line procedures being put in place to increase convenience and availability cost money to produce. Some are private offerings approved by states to increase availability.

Even if one spends $25 on the course it is still better I think to waiting weeks for a live course and maybe having to drive, eat out, etc. to attend that course. Hunting is still (except for my equipment choices) one of the most economical activities I pursue.
 
Posted by Sam McMichael (Member # 17671) on :
 
I think the concept of hunter education is good, but I am not sure the course content is always particularly good. I took the course, even though I was in the "excused" age group. However, my son was in middle school, so I took the course with him. He made the second highest grade in the class (only missed one question), as many of the adults simply did not take it very seriously. Archery was not an important factor, because firearm safety was the major focal point. No separate archery proficiency course was required.

Like Bisch, there are a lot of people I know who have passed this test that I don't want to be close to in the woods. Like anything else, some people are more attentive to required training than others. Whatever your opinion is of these courses , due to liability issues, they are here to stay. Luckily most of the trad archers I know, take safety and common sense seriously, so I don't feel too much concern over the effectiveness of the course (I almost never hunt in close proximity to gun hunters), but in all honesty, I thought the course I took was not bad. I have always been suspicious of any on-line course whether something like this or the academic environment.
 
Posted by ChuckC (Member # 1813) on :
 
I am involved in teaching Hunters Ed and have been for a long time. This included both the Hunters Ed and Bowhunter courses although it has been a while since we put on a Bowhunter course.

Recently, there has been a change to "on-Line" courses with a field day. This is due to families not having the time to actually commit to a full course. As one who has seen both, I am saddened. I bet none of those families miss any TV or cell phone time.

The youngsters are doing well in the courses, as seen by scores on exams, however the real issue is that in the past, these kids had hands on experience with the "guns" in every single class. Handling / parts of the weapons / shooting and carrying positions. It was ingrained into them and when test time came they did VERY well.

On the other hand... we have seen examples of adults doing the test outs ( on-line...no field day, just an in person and a paper test) that showed a huge difference that hands on experience makes. One particular example even commented to me, after I spent an inordinate amount of time working with her on the field test, that she should probably take the full course.

I agreed.

Having to take the course s a good thing. Everybody having to take it is a better thing. Taking updates ( like every five years) might be the best thing. But, then we would miss TV time.
ChuckC
 
Posted by YosemiteSam (Member # 45388) on :
 
Shooting isn't hunting. Bureaucratic decisions aren't always smart for everybody. As you probably know, a good marksman isn't always a good soldier. And rules are made to fit the lowest common denominator in society. Those people of higher caliber have to just go along for the sake of others.

I took my hunter's safety course at age 13 and only after I demonstrated to my step-dad that I could safely carry my Red Ryder all day in the field without pointing it at anybody AND could still shoot proficiently to 100 yards with open sights with a 30-30 (steel butt plate on that old pre-64). That season afield carrying a bb gun was my ticket to be allowed to take the class. Needless to say, there was a lot of education that happened long before that class.

But much of what I learned from the class was less about safety and more about law, regulations, identification of bird species, etc. I don't now how it is nowadays but we had to distinguish about 10 different waterfowl species and know the bag/possession limits on each. These are the more practical matters that we need to know, regardless of our weapons proficiency. Honestly, I wish they'd hold a fishing version of this kind of class since I can hardly keep up with what is and isn't legal in the Pacific coastline anymore. Makes me scared to even try.

If my boys decide to try their hand at hunting, I'll probably take the course again myself but with them. If nothing else, it's good stuff for dinner table conversations and teaching values. The apprenticeship model works well for hunting since there are so many ethical issues involved.
 
Posted by ChuckC (Member # 1813) on :
 
Sam, I do too, but that wont happen. Hunter safety WAS a real entity and it was important, but folks nowadays "don't have time. Soccer is more important as is TV and cellphone time.

They are dummying up the class. Still.... from what I have witnessed, the classes are the main point of contact between folks and actually touching firearms for more than half our classes.
Granted, where I teach and live is urban and suburban on the fringe. Up in the north part of the state that same may not be true.

The classes are important and they are not THAT long any more. Take them and help teach them. Share your knowledge with others that came after us.
ChuckC
 
Posted by calgarychef (Member # 12551) on :
 
Hunter education isn't all about shooting, it's about game identification, hunting ethics, rules and regulations specific to your state/province, it's about field dressing, treestand safety, hunting methods ... it's about understanding the role that conservation plays in our modern ways. I could go on and on with this stuff. WHile knowing how to throw a grenade is a good thing in certain circumstances it has nothing to do with hunting. And that's why hunter education is important and should be required.
 
Posted by toddster (Member # 1722) on :
 
The answer lay's with your State Legislation. I am an Illinois Hunter Ed instructor and old enough to never needed to take it. But, did because go out west and hunt. One thing "we" hunters did in Illinois is to educate the legistlators, and they amended the law to where if you are a veteran, you can take the online portion and be done.
 
Posted by Sam McMichael (Member # 17671) on :
 
This has been an interesting and useful thread. After hearing of the experiences of many, here is how I would design a class. It would not be online.

1. A lot of content would be based on safety, ethics, regulations, game identification and such topics.

2. At the end of the classroom section, there would be a weapons proficiency test. Any body failing this test would be required to attend and pass a weapons specific seminar. This would not be geared toward military trained firearms experts, but would be geared towards competency in safe handling.

I know this would never be accepted, because, as has been said, most people feel they just don't have the time to be bothered with it all. However, I don't feel that simply paying and sitting for the test does not automatically buy a certificate. I have been pleased to read many of the responses here by people who have actually taught these classes that they insist on performance as well.

I wish DNR could become involved in things like Boy Scout summer camps and other similar institutions and include courses in the week's activities. That might not be feasible, though. I also support free classes for veterans but not for exempting them from the class. Just a few more thoughts on all this.
 
Posted by Bowwild (Member # 2347) on :
 
Hunter Safety Education has always been a very strong argument to people who think hunting and hunters is/are unsafe (it and they aren't by the way, -unsafe).

When my now 37 year old son was 10, I signed him up for Hunter Education in the state we lived in at the time. My age precluded me from having to take it. I was curious how much my son had learned from me, simply tagging along and from all the conversations he and I had about hunting and firearms safety. I was not a hunter education or bowhunter education instructor at the time. I was merely a dad eat up with hunting with a son who loved tagging along and talking about it with me. We remain very close today - he lives across the creek and woods from me that I'm looking at as I type this post.

As an experiment, I was able to give him the exam before he took the class. He scored a 96 (I was pleasantly surprised by the way).

When he took the class a few days later (me with him) he scored a 98 on the exam (missed one). I also scored a 98. We both missed the same question, how moving the REAR sight on a firearm affects point of impact. Archery (front sight vs. rear sight) was why I missed the question and I was, of course the reason my son missed it.

Obvious lesson is that quality time spent with our children is extremely effective. By the way, I've used this anecdote many times over a 30-year state wildlife biologist/director in policy discussions about Hunter Education.

My son and I both took the class again in Kansas just for fun. I included him in one of my Bowhunter Education classes when he was 32 years old.

There is no substitute for proper parental guidance. I will readily admit there are some parents who need a lot of guidance themselves. I fear a poacher begets a poacher? If the parent climbs a fence with a firearm or puts a loaded one in the truck, etc. So, in those cases maybe a quality HE instructor has a chance to break that chain?

Several years ago a survey was conducted to determine the recruitment or barrier impacts of Hunter Education. It was found that hunter education is a barrier that 2% of would be hunters aren't willing to surmount.

The one thing I wish could be removed from some hunter education classes is the bias of some instructors. Some instructors stray from the lesson plan and inject their own opinions. Some of those opinions are invaluable, some aren't. I'd gladly give up the valuable ones for the bad advice.

I'm a fan of on-line courses although I've never taken one. One of the reasons I like on-line (besides the convenience) is the standardization in represents ... only the facts please. Some may argue that hunting is important enough for a wannabe to undergo some inconvenience. I don't disagree. Imagine the liability agencies would incur if they dropped hunter education requirements completely and then the non-certified and non-mentored hunter is hurt or hurts someone?

I'm even a bigger fan of the new "Mentor" laws that allow a would be hunter to go with a hunter education certified person the first year. Then, if they want to continue hunting, they have to take a course. This let's hunting sell itself before asking your neighbor, son-in-law, etc. who might have only a mild interest in hunting to try it before spending 10 hours of precious time taking a course. Some who take HE courses never follow up hunting. These laws are so smart.

For years wildlife officials implored hunters to invite their neighbors, friends, and co-workers to keep hunter numbers strong. I've had such discussions with those non-hunters. You invite them to go and they agree, until they find out they have to spend 2-5 nights/week to take and pass a Hunter Education class. This kept my son-in-law out of hunting for nearly 8 years (he was overseas military most of that time). Now they can try hunting in more than half the states through these mentor laws ($5 permit plus proper licenses here in KY). The agency can then track whether or not that mentored hunter takes Hunter Education later.
 
Posted by Deno (Member # 44244) on :
 
Lots of really good points there Roy. I like the idea of mentor laws. Sounds good to me. Not sure if NJ has that.

Deno
 
Posted by YosemiteSam (Member # 45388) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bowwild:
Hunter Safety Education has always been a very strong argument to people who think hunting and hunters is/are unsafe (it and they aren't by the way, -unsafe).


I talked to a local politician & hunter about a year ago who laughingly told me a story about how he & his buddies got so drunk sitting around their hunting camp that they took a shot at "something in the bushes" and almost shot one of their buddies. He was thinking I'd find that funny or somehow relate. It only confirmed how much I detest politicians. I've heard plenty of stories over the years -- they're not all that rare. I hate to say it but hunters are all too often our worst enemies. I love to hunt. But I avoid other hunters as much as possible while in the field out here. It's a stereotype but one that has kept me safe from the crazies during the rifle season.

Granted, it's probably more a CA thing. I've met some truly good people in AR while hunting. And hunters who use self-imposed limits (traditional archery, muzzleloaders, even single-shot rifles) tend to be of a much kindly sort.
 
Posted by Bowwild (Member # 2347) on :
 
Update: My son-in-law went deer hunting with me with his Mentor permit. It was his first hunting experience, if I discount a pigeon shoot at an Arizona dairy farm.

He killed two deer with me. Can't say more about that because of the equipment preferences here.

The next year he took Hunter Education (on-line and field day). I've taken him hunting twice so far this year and will be taking him again over Thanksgiving.

The mentor permit allowed hunting to sell itself. He likes it!
 
Posted by ChuckC (Member # 1813) on :
 
Roy, Wisconsin has a mentor system as well, which I like, but the Gov just signed a bill allowing each to have a firearm in possession ( formerly, only one per mentor / mentee group was allowed).

My hunter ed group dislikes that. Any thoughts from down south ? Our biggest point... why does the mentor need a weapon if it is the mentee that is hunting ?
 


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